Theory of Karma - Chapter 15


Some people misunderstand that when we are the slaves of our Prarabdha (destiny) and when we are not to gain anything more or less than what is destined or when
we are sure to get what is destined in our Prarabdha, then why should we make any Purushartha (new efforts) at all and bother and labour unnecessarily. Such pessimistic, fatalist, fanatic believers say that if at all it is so destined to pass or fail in the examination we will surely pass or fail according to our Prarabdha. Then why should we unnecessarily wreck our nerves, bother and make any Purushartha (new efforts) for that examination ? Let it happen what is going to happen as destined in our predetermined fate without troubling and muddling our brain for nothing. Such deluded fatalists (Prarabdhawadis) have not properly understood the real meaning of the words Prarabdha and Purushartha as prescribed in the law of Karma.

It is indeed true that one would get only what is destined for him. However it behoves one to make a clear and proper distinction between where it is appropriate to be resigned to one's fate and where it is more appropriate to exert personal efforts. Securing a job is a matter of destiny, but having secured one, to sustain it with sincerity and diligence is a matter of personal efforts. To obtain a beautiful house is shaped by destiny, but to be able to maintain it properly is a matter of personal effort. To acquire or come into wealth is dictated by destiny, but how to use that wealth for a good purpose is a matter of personal choice and effort. To beget healthy children is a matter of one's destiny but it requires perseverance and personal efforts to give them good training and inculcate in them noble values. Sure, one will acquire only such a job or wealth or family as determined by one's destiny. But whatever one is given, how to use them as instruments for noble ends with a discriminating intellect is dictated by one's freedom of choice and effort. Even if destiny dictates whether one would pass or fail in an examination, it is incumbent upon him to satisfy his conscience with sincere and diligent efforts and try for success. Whether one earns a little less or a little more is left to one's destiny. However to earn one's livelihood with honesty and sincerity or otherwise is a matter of personal choice and effort. Happiness does not depend upon how much money and wealth one can acquire. Often money acquired through devious means ultimately brings a lot of pain and anguish in life. Many amongst those who have built their riches by dishonest, sinful practices find miseries creeping into their life either through destructive habits and wrong actions of their children or even through shocking shameless behaviour of their spouses.

If one comes into some means and wealth by a good stroke of destiny, then he ought to avail of the opportunity by turning it into an instrument for personal spiritual progress. If one has to suffer some mental deprivation then also one should th~nk of turning that circumstance to his advantage to achieve the same goal of personal, spiritual progress. If dest,ny provides a man with a good loyal wife then that should become the means for his spiritual progress. If, on the other hand, fate snatches away the spouse and leaves one a widower, then still one ought to put that circumstance to good purpose for the sake of his spiritual progress. Whatever destiny provides or does not provide him in the form of physical health, wealth, wife, children - whether in abundance or lacking in any of these areas - one should strive to turn to his advantage through personal efforts at attaining spiritual upliftment.

Without consciously causing anguish to any one else, without compromising one's morals or principles for the sake of flattery or subservience to the whims of the selfish, unscrupulous persons and without going against one's own conscience, whatever little can be attained, one should find and feel contentment and abundance in it.